Uncovering how sugar contributes to invasive pneumococcal disease
Chief Investigator: Miss Kimberley McLean [Early Career Researcher]
Funding Amount : $40,000
Recipient: The University of Adelaide
Annually, more than one million children die from diseases caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae (the pneumococcus). For the pneumococcus to cause disease, it must firstly establish itself, or ‘colonise’, in the upper respiratory tract (URT). Colonisation is critical and guarantees that the pneumococcus can spread to other individuals and cause severe disease. This project focuses on learning how the pneumococcus uses galactose to cause disease, the predominant sugar in the URT. Understanding how galactose can be used to the pneumococcus’ advantage in this environment opens new doors for the future development of targeted therapies to treat pneumococcal disease.